My name Is Francisco Gomes, people call me “Xico”, I´ve been an instructor for Moana for 6 years now but it started waaay before that, in a place where I like to call Home.
On the start of a surf class when we walking down to the beach it as been quite offen for students to ask me, or other surf instructor, so how long have you been surfing?
My answer is that I surf already for quite a while on and off when I was younger but I didn´t start with 3 years old on a surfboard as people in Hawaii, when I started going in the water I was a boggieboarder.
- Are you from here then?? They ask afterwards very surprise noticing I have some strange aussie or south African accent.
So I tell them a bit of my story, a short version, here you have a bit of a longer one.
I go to guincho beach since I was a baby, that´s why I called home, I know I´m not the only one of course, Guincho is Home to a lot of people but I do live on the seaside and couldn´t be more blessed to be and to grew up in such a place!
Normally I would go every time to the beach with my parents, then all family would get along and meet at guincho. Portuguese families can be quite big, for us at that time would be a group bigger then 20, cousins, uncles, aunts…but there was one person that took me more than anyone to guincho, that was my grandfather, with wind or no wind, sun or rainy, cold or warm days every day we would go to guincho. I´ve seen that beach changing a lot, now a days there is less sand, new rocks, different paths to go to the beach, a beach bar that changed already for 3 or 4 times, the life saving spot (that actually should be in lot better conditions for the people that spend months and months taking care of the swimmers in such a hard beach), more and more surf schools around, more and more people in the water surfing for themselfs , the difference of the south side and the north side of the beach but there is also something that is not there anymore. That´s the small surf school on the north side of the beach bar, a little container with a graffiti saying Moana Surf School, yes Moana was right on the sand at that time, and what radical times that was!
First time at Moana, I was probably 14 years old, went with a good friend from school, erik, that we end up to work together a few summers on this last past years, on a winter day, rainy and cold we went to meet alex for a surf class, I remember to have seen it already the little place before but as a shy kid never went to look it up on my own, but after that surf class we were hooked! After that class we were there for days, weeks, months, everytime I would go to the beach I wouldn’t stay along much with my family anymore, I was running strait to the school.
Always happy to be in the middle of the boards and the wetsuits, was helping already to put some flags up, while Alex was going to teach sometimes we were taking care of the castle and after would get some ice cream or something to drink, and we would be more than happy! Actually that still happens now days! Was also a great start to peak up my English and to meet people around the world, such as photographers that would come to take photos of the classes or other kids that would come to surf. I would spend days and nights at the school at the summer time, outside codling with my board to wake up super early to surf. Coming inside the school and see Tass one good friend that a that time was working as a teacher at school, laying down trying to recover from the night before and me kicking him to go surf or to do something, this days is the same but instead of being the kid kicking I´m the teacher who went out the night before and its getting pushed to surf aahhh those summer days…..
Now after 13 years I still do the same, I still love to sleep outside close to my board (if you a surfer you know you will sleep anywhere to get good waves) I´m still in the middle of the wetsuits and boards and putting flags up the school, and why? Cause Moana and alex are still at guincho and that´s home, that´s family for me, cause I love to meet new people and to receive them at guincho and tell them all I can about the area of Cascais, and off course cause I love to teach and to be In such a great office and as guincho warm water! So come and visit us, I could be around or I could be travelling but Guincho will always be there such as Moana where you can always start to be part of the family!
So thank you for reading and to everyone I met so far at guincho, thank you alex and to bar do guincho for still being there and to be as a family for me, and of course a very special thanks to my dad and my grandfather to push me to go the beach and grabing my hand while we were running in to the waves when I was smaller! And Thanks guincho to be such a paradise!